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Fundraiser planned for HopeKids at Tamales on July 12

When little Cole Christian was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2008, his family's lives suddenly began to revolve around visits to the hospital, around treatment and around getting him better.

Lost in the shuffle were family outings and family vacations.

That's where HopeKids came into play.

The Twin Cities chapter stepped in and set up events for the Christians to attend, along with other area families. Among Cole's favorite HopeKids outings were trips to Afton Alps to go snow tubing and another trip to go horseback riding.

"(HopeKids) has been great," Cole's father Jon said. "It has given us more time to think about having fun, instead of thinking about the negative aspects of going through a treatment like this, or the bad possibilities of it.

"A lot of times families will be burdened and don't get a chance to go do things."

Since HopeKids has been such a strong influence on the family, Jon Christian and his wife Sonia are throwing a fundraiser for the program. It will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. July 12 at Tamales in Hastings. There will be a chips-and-salsa bar from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. and then a Mexican buffet will be served beginning at 7 p.m. The price for adults is $15 and for children it is $10. Tickets can be purchased at Tamales or by calling Jon Christian at 651-210-9622.

Cole's prognosis

Things look very bright for Cole. He still gets a nightly dose of chemotherapy and once a month he gets a heavier dose at the hospital, but Jon said the "prognosis is great" and that Cole "is going to be fine."

The treatment will continue until August 2011.

The treatment has caused some muscle deterioration around Cole's ankles, so he wears braces to help keep his feet in their natural position.

"That's the only complication he has," Jon Christian said. "You know what? We'll take that."